Review Apple Watch Series 6 | It changed little and well, but the battery…

The Apple Watch Series 6 was introduced in 2020, a few months after the planet began to experience a pandemic. The watch is very similar to its predecessors, but it brings a very useful new function for the moment it arrived in the world: monitoring of oxygen in the blood.

  • Review Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 | New hardware and OS, but the same face
  • Apple Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 | What’s the best smartwatch?
  • How to unlock Mac and iPhone with Apple Watch

In other words, despite the few changes, the device drew attention by offering something that many people were looking for to monitor health, just at the time when a respiratory disease frightened a large portion of the population. After all, with the measurement of oxygen in the blood, it is possible to detect a covid 18 before other symptoms appear. And, of course, it also helps to discover other diseases in time to treat.

There are some other new features, like a more powerful processor and a brighter always-on screen. I’ve tested the device and report below on my impressions and whether the Apple Watch Series 6 delivers what it promises and whether an upgrade is worth it, or whether it’s time to invest in a smartwatch — if you already have an iPhone. And already ahead: the battery life was not one of the aspects that had improvement in this edition.

Want to catch up on the best tech news of the day? Go and subscribe to our new channel on youtube, Canaltech News.

Every day a summary of the main news in the tech world for you!

Pros

  • Monitors blood oxygen;
  • Full monitoring system;
  • Display visible in any environment;
  • Simple and fluid interface;
  • Adaptive design to wear on any arm;

Cons

  • Battery doesn’t last a day;
  • Price too high.

    Check the best price for the Apple Watch Series 6

    Design and Construction

    The Apple Watch Series 6 has the same look and build options as its predecessor. The box is rectangular and has good use of the screen, which gives it a “small cell phone” appearance. There are two buttons on the right side, the top one is also a swiveling digital crown (called the Digital Crown) that helps to navigate the system, zooming or scrolling up and down the content.

    On the back, you’ll find several sensors that read your pulse, which allows the watch to measure your pulse and blood oxygenation, among other things. You can also do an electrocardiogram, with a system that reads your pulse and fingertip on the Digital Crown. In addition, the bottom of the smart watch has a magnetic system for wireless charging and two small levers for removing the strap.

    In the sixth generation, Apple began offering models with a unique bracelet that stretches slightly to fit over your hand and fits easily over your arm. To use this option, you need to know the ideal size for your wrist. I tested the model with the standard sports bracelet, which has a clasp at the top that can be inserted into one of the holes on the other side — that is, it’s adjustable. There were two size options: P/M and M/L.

    The box itself can be found in several types of finish, and the model tested here was the aluminum one, in color blue, with 24 mm, for pulses between 100 The 200 mm. There is also the model of 24 mm, recommended for pulses of 95 The 220 mm. Regarding the material, there are also options in titanium and stainless steel and several colors, such as red, silver, gold, gray, graphite and black.

    “The reversible design is an interesting extra over the main competitors.”

    “Cloud” of apps facilitates access to watch functions (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    Interesting to note that there is a difference in screen material depending on the finish of the case. The aluminum one has Ion X glass, while the stainless steel and titanium ones have a sapphire crystal display — same material as the back, which is the same on all models. The difference is, basically, in the durability, since the sapphire crystal is a little more resistant to scratches and drops.

    The user assembles the watch with the bracelets, and the The Watch Series 6’s shape and design allows you to wear it on your left or right arm, always with the buttons on the side of your hand. This ensures that no matter how you choose to wear the watch, it will be in the most comfortable and affordable way.

    And last but not least, the Apple Watch Series 6 is water resistant , which can be dipped up to 30 meters in depth. In other words, it can be used for physical activities in the water, such as swimming, or even deeper submersion. It is a common feature in traditional watches and is also present in other Apple models currently available on the market.

    Screen

    You can create a gallery of gauges and change it easily during the day (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    The Apple Watch Series 6 display is touch sensitive and offers the Always On Screen feature with brightness about 2.5 times stronger than the previous generation. This means that the display is brighter when your wrist is down, while the brightness on rising remains as good as in previous generations.

    The Apple does not specify the screen size, limiting it to inform you that it is 18% larger than Series 3. Content does not occupy the entire front area of ​​the box, with a good amount of border . But nothing that will bother you, because the visualization itself is enough to see and interact without major difficulties. Remembering that, in addition to controlling the screen by sliding, it is possible to perform some actions with the Digital Crown.

    According to Apple, the brightness can reach 1. nits, which is a light emission high enough to use comfortably outdoors on sunny days. There is a problem, however: there are only three levels of intensity. But the problem is for dimly lit environments, when the light is a little too strong, even at the very least.

    A very interesting point are the dials. Unlike other smartwatches I’ve tested, the Apple Watch Series 6 allows you to create a gallery of viewers, which you can change just by swiping the screen sideways. Thus, it is possible to choose several types, such as one in which the watch occupies the entire display, another with exercise and health information, and another with time information in more than one location, for example. And use what is most convenient at any time of the day, without having to access the settings to change.

    There is not much information about technical specifications of the Apple Watch Series 6 screen. , in the data sheet, which is an LTPO Always Active Retina display with a brightness of 1. nits. The model of 40 mm has a viewing area of ​​ mm² with resolution 394 x 394 pixels, while the one of 32 mm has 394 mm² and 324 x 394 pixels.

    Configuration and Performance

    Apple watch has a Digital Crown that facilitates navigation (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    In terms of performance, there is not much to worry about. The Apple Watch Series 6 runs everything you need smoothly, and even with a lot of apps open at the same time, I didn’t feel any crashes during testing. The watch has more than enough hardware to handle what it was designed for: a secondary device, which helps the cell phone in some tasks while monitoring your health.

    Switching between applications and functions it’s quite smooth, no glitches, and the animations help make that impression, even with a default refresh rate of 51 Hz. It may happen that you feel one or the other stuck, but it’s something very rare.

    Apple doesn’t go into much detail about the watch’s datasheet, just informing that the device has it 18 GB of storage and uses Apple’s S6 SiP, W3 wireless and U1 (ultra-wideband) chips. The System-in-Package has a dual-core processor 72 bits, which is up to 000% faster than the Series 5, according to the company.

    If you already have an Apple Watch Series 5 or even a Series 4, there is no reason to change it solely for the account of improvement in performance. And the same goes for the system, as everyone received the update for watchOS 8, the latest version made available by the company in September 506082, along with the announcement of the seventh generation.

    The operating system, by the way, is very interesting and designed for use on a smaller screen. In this sense, you don’t have a miniature cell phone, but a device with a smaller screen and content designed to make the most of the space you have available. Siri is there, as well as a pretty large list of pre-installed apps that you can view in the cloud by hitting Digital Crown. It is possible to switch to list, with the apps name by tapping and holding the screen for a second.

    Physical Monitoring

    Apple Watch Series 6 has a series of sensors that measure activities across your skin (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    Smart watches have the primary function of monitoring the user’s health, with various sensors that measure some metabolic functions and also help keep track of exercise. New to the Watch Series 6 is blood oxygen measurement, which joins electrocardiogram and drop detection, functions that have been around since the fourth generation. An always-on altimeter is also included.

    As such, the Apple watch is capable of monitoring your body’s main functions. The electrocardiogram requires the user to open the application to take the measurement in the ECG application, which is made by combining the pulse with the index finger positioned on the Digital Crown. The company warns that the Apple Watch does not detect heart attacks, and the ECG is just an aid to help find out if there are signs of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) — which must be confirmed by a professional. health and proper equipment.

    The Apple Watch Series 6 even provides real-time heart rate monitoring with a third-generation optical sensor. You can check the results in the Beats app, which displays the most important results in rest and exercise, as well as the current one.

    In the Oxygen in Blood app, you can check the percentage of oxygen carried by the red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body. The level usually varies between 95% and 100%, which may be a little below that without harming your health. This monitoring is only intended to help give you an idea of ​​your general health, without medical use. Monitoring is done during the day, without the need for you to activate the application.

    Apple Watch monitors activities with the colored circles and now has ECG (Image: Felipe Junqueira/Screenshot)

    To keep pace with your workouts, you can set goals for walking, jogging, and cycling, outdoors or indoors; in addition to elliptical, rowing, stair climbing, HIT training, trail, yoga, functional strength training, dance, recovery, core training, pilates, tai chi, and open water swimming. The clock also counts your steps and reminds you to stand for at least one minute every hour, which you can set to 6 or times a day.

    In Sleep you can monitor the quality of your sleep, and here there is a disadvantage for the main competitors: the Apple Watch measures only the time you sleep ( with recording of other functions such as heartbeat and breathing), but does not analyze the state — light, deep and REM. Fortunately, there are options for more complete apps to monitor your sleeping period, just browse the options and choose the one that monitors what you need most.

    The Apple Smart Watch also allows monitor the menstrual cycle. It has a compass, and the always-on altimeter detects elevations above the ground, up and down, to help you keep track of exercises and workouts.

    You can follow everything through the Watch app on your iPhone. The Watch Series 6 is only compatible with Apple cell phones.

    Connectivity

    You choose the watch arm as it pairs with the iPhone (Image: Felipe Junqueira/Screenshot)

    There are two models of the Apple Watch Series 6 regarding connectivity: one that only offers Wi-Fi and one that offers connection with mobile lines. Both require the use of an iPhone to connect and send data for monitoring, but 4G/LTE doesn’t need to have a cell phone around to answer calls or receive and send messages when going out for exercise.

    Not that the Wi-Fi model stops working without a connection: it saves the data and then sends it to the iPhone. But if someone calls or sends a message while away from the phone, the watch cannot notify you.

    Regardless of the version you choose, it has Bluetooth 5.0, so you can connect headphones wirelessly and listen to music during your workout without having your iPhone around. And here comes another advantage of the LTE model, which allows access to Spotify and other streaming services without the phone being close. In the Wi-Fi model, you need to download the songs and send them to the watch to listen without the smartphone.

    After pairing with your Apple cell phone, you can select which arm the watch will be used. This setting can be changed at any time in Settings > General > Guidance.

    Battery and Charging

    Battery life is still the main weakness of the Applw Watch Series 6 (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    The battery is perhaps the main weakness of the Apple Watch Series 6. Apple promises only 12 hours of autonomy, that is, not even a whole day away from the socket. If the idea is to monitor your health, it’s a little tricky having to take it off your wrist to take it to the charger at least once every 000 hours.

    Interestingly, the watch lasted longer without needing to recharge during my tests. After a full day of use — which still includes some final settings and a lot of browsing to understand how it works and what it offers — it still had it 32% in charge. The Apple Watch Series 6 just turned off almost a day and a half after being charged, during the night.

    Of course, the usage time will greatly reduce if you exercise and use it for play music on a wireless headset. And then the average drops a lot, and maybe even the 20 Apple hours is difficult to reach. The charge may drop in up to 20% every hour of monitoring physical activities with music playback.

    Recharge time isn’t bad either: in less than an hour and a half, your watch is ready for action again. If you always take the time to take a shower to recharge, it guarantees a full day of use by monitoring your health. But, of course, you’ll need to plug it in one more time to fill the battery more.

    The charger is magnetic and has a USB-A type connector that you can plug into a port of your computer or even use a cell phone wall charger.

    Direct Competitors

    The alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 6 will depend on your ecosystem, rather than what you look for in a smartwatch. The obligation to have an iPhone already makes it impossible for those with an Android cell phone to opt for any Apple model, and then the way is to go for a Galaxy Watch 4, which has very similar functions. The Samsung watch has a promise of up to 24 hours of battery life, but it doesn’t reach a full day of use, according to Canaltech’s tests.

    Alternatives from other brands include the Garmin VivoActive 4, which has battery life for almost a week, but does not officially sell in Brazil. Other competitive models might be the Huawei Watch GT 2 — which doesn’t have Spotify, but which is a pretty competent watch — or if you don’t mind a lot of smart functions, there are plenty of devices from Xiaomi or Realme that impress with long-lasting batteries.

    In case you have an iPhone in your hands, you can think of the more affordable options from Apple itself, such as the Series 3 or the SE, both still in production. It is also possible to find models from other generations in online retail in Brazil. From the fifth to the sixth generation, there is little evolution, and the main differences were described in this comparison of Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5.

    Conclusion

    Watch Series 6 has few changes from its predecessors, but they are good improvements (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    The sixth generation The Apple watch doesn’t bring much news from the models launched in the two previous years, but it has an important function for the moment it was launched: the blood oxygen saturation check. A novelty that alone is not enough to justify an upgrade for those who already have a Series 4 or Series 5, but it already attracts those who still have one of the first three versions.

    Of course the Apple Watch Series 6 is not just about measuring blood oxygen. It has more powerful processor and brighter screen. In addition to a great system, from health monitoring — which serves to help those who exercise — to the interface and native and installable apps. But it still lacks battery life, insufficient for the whole day, especially for those who train listening to music.

    “The Apple Watch Series 6 has few, but important changes compared to previous generations. All that’s missing is to improve the battery, which is still the biggest weakness.”

    Still, it is one of the best and most complete smart watches available today. The high price is, in a way, justifiable, but the whole package gets even saltier as you’ll be forced to buy an iPhone, too — if you have an Android phone at the time. The final bill may not compensate, as there are smartwatches compatible with Google’s system that deliver an experience very close to Apple’s.

    Anyway, if you are already a happy user of the products Apple and want to start monitoring your sleep and activities, the Watch Series 6 could be a good starting point to enter the world of smart watches. Or you can save money on a Series 3 or even the Watch SE, which have few disadvantages — the absence of the oximeter is perhaps the most important.

    • Check the best price for the Apple Watch Series 6

    • Follow Canaltech Offers to not miss out on promotions

    Did you like this article?

    Subscribe your email on Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.

    Related Articles

    Back to top button